Jessica Albritton, Family Connections Minister, LHBC
18 He said therefore, “What is the kingdom of God like? And to what shall I compare it? 19 It is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his garden, and it grew and became a tree, and the birds of the air made nests in its branches.”
I have always had a fear of birds. Don’t get me wrong, there are some really beautiful birds out there, but I prefer to admire them from a distance. While getting my masters I spent a significant amount of time in one particular building on campus. One year a bird decided to make a nest in one of the trees planted right outside of the doors of the building and hatch her babies. Sweet, right? No. Not at all. No one on the whole campus wanted to hurt those birds but the mama bird wasn’t convinced of that. If a student came within 20 feet of the nest she would dive bomb towards them. This was a big problem seeing as how that was one of the only entrances to the whole building. That dang bird terrorized every student that semester! We all couldn’t wait until those baby birds got big enough to not need their mama “protecting” them any longer. Did you know that in the Bible when birds are mentioned its almost always associated with evil? I didn’t understand that until that semester. Don’t worry, I get the association with evil now…
In Luke 13 Jesus speaks in a parable about the kingdom of God. It comes on the tail end of Jesus calling out the Pharisees on their hypocrisy. Jesus looks to the crowd surrounding Him and asks the question, “What is the kingdom of God like? And to what shall I compare it?” Jesus explains the kingdom is like a grain of mustard seed planted by a man that grew into a large tree! This is pretty crazy considering a mustard seed planted only produces a small bush. This should be a great encouragement for all believers! At the work of our hands we can produce only what we are capable of. And we aren’t capable of much… But with God our measly efforts can yield results that are unnatural! God can take the little we have and multiply it in such a way that brings glory to Himself! This shouldn’t come as a surprise considering He used His very breath to speak life and creation into existence, but the awesomeness shouldn’t be lost on us!
This is great, except Jesus goes on to say, once the tree was grown, “the birds of the air made nests in its branches.” You remember what I said about birds representing evil? Jesus is giving strict warning to all believers here. God can take a little and make a lot, the kingdom of God cannot be stopped, but when God is at work Satan is never far away. Believer, we are to always be on guard! Rest in God and His goodness! Be in awe of His power and might! But don’t be blind to the attacks of the enemy! If we are not careful that evil might just nestle up in the branches of the tree God planted! I heard it said a while back that good things turned God things become idols. But what happens when God things become tainted with the evil of Satan and his demons? When that happens Christians lose credibility and it becomes harder for the lost to hear the gospel! Friend, let’s let God grow the tree and stand in awe of His power! But let’s also get out those binoculars and go bird watching.
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Heavenly Father, thank You for growing trees out of my measly mustard seeds. Open my eyes to Your goodness and the works of Your hands! Lord, just as You are working, so is the enemy! Help me to be aware of the evil that attempts to nestle its way in Your work! Lord, I pray You bind up the work of the enemy! In Jesus name, amen!
MEMORY VERSE OF THE WEEK:
A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls.